Our visitors were lucky to get home before the worst of the snow and blizzards hit the south and southeast. We were already getting disenchanted messages from our sources back home when the occasional flurries we had been seeing here, settled into more persistent, large-flaked snowfalls. After a couple of days given over to tidying up and being rather lazy we took ourselves out for a walk one morning, along La Voie Verte.
This is a wide trackway, prohibited to motor vehicles, which skirts the town and is still undergoing extension. It now takes us to a point on the sea wall about half way between the town and the Pont de Saire. We walked its length and then came back into St Vaast with the sea on our left. It was the first time I had seen snow on a beach, its edge defined by the lap of the furthest wave of the high tide. It was lunchtime so there were hardly any people about, just a Frenchman throwing a ball for his Jack Russell.
For lunch we had homemade soup and baguette overlaid with dressed crab. Two days earlier Daniel had gifted us 6 fine spider crabs. He had overseen the cooking and left me with full instructions. He made sure we knew that the bright orange female roe surpasses, in his opinion, the flavour and delicacy of caviar!
Between us Nick and I put in 5 man-hours dressing these crabs. Some had formed the basis of a risotto offered to Francois and Anne for dinner the previous evening, some would be frozen but we had saved the brown meat, including roe for lunches. Mixed with breadcrumbs and a little vinegar (because it is so rich) it is a wonderful spread.